Japan Reaches Out For Help On Nuclear Disaster, Experts Rethinking Nuclear Culture

Japan’s nuclear crisis minister, Goshi Hosono has requested assistance from the IAEA to remove radioactive materials from the area near the plant. He also asked the IAEA to help with reactor stress test program. Hosono also asked the IAEA for assistance in convincing the public to allow reactor restarts.

Hosono has also asked the US and France to assist with scrapping the reactors, dealing with the nuclear waste and decontamination efforts.  Hosono also tried to claim at the IAEA meeting that the reactors are near “cold shutdown”, a term TEPCO has been loosely using. Cold shutdown is normally a term used for an intact reactor with temperatures below 100c, not a reactor where the fuel has melted out of the reactor vessel and the power company isn’t exactly sure where the fuel is. The efforts to reach out for more international assistance are seen as progress as much of the international offers of help were rejected early on in the crisis.

Experts of the Atomic Energy Society of Japan are also meeting this week. Much of the discussion is around reflecting on past attitudes towards safety an the nuclear community in Japan.

“Professor Hisashi Ninokata of the Tokyo Institute of Technology is leading the Atomic Energy Society panel that’s investigating the Fukushima accident.
He told a morning session that experts placed too much confidence in Japan’s nuclear power generation and created a nuclear safety myth.” 


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